Grant Funding

Interested in a career in accounting but want to do something more exciting than taxes and paying the bills? Most of the major humanitarian and charitable organizations that operate on a not-for-profit basis rely on a knowledgeable staff of accountants who are trained in the meticulous field of government grants.

Grant funding from various governmental entities is often the primary source of income for these organizations and the application process can be rather tricky, at best. Having a well-trained team of grant writers and accountants can mean a great deal to the organization’s annual operations.

The application process for grant funding may take months to work up and document effectively. Millions of dollars may be at stake. Details matter and so does a thorough understanding of the terminology of the business as well as the terminology of the funding agencies. And so does precision in accounting.

Once the application for grant funding is complete and submitted to the issuing agency, the process may involve more work. Depending upon the nature of the operation and the scope of the funding, site visits that can take days may be in order. This can be a very nerve-wracking time for all involved, kind of like a job interview that never ends, so thorough awareness of, even a level of comfort with, all aspects involved with grant funding can be a decisive factor in getting operating capital or not.

After the grant has been awarded, the accountability phase of the process begins in earnest. Grant funding brought cash flow into the organization and it’s up to the grant accountants to track every penny and ensure it’s been spent according to plan.

Grant funding leads to some rather strenuous auditing processes, too. The money must be spent according to plan and the issuing agency will send auditors to your site of operations to make sure all the monies are being used as intended.

And once this year’s grant funding process is complete, it’s time to start the preliminary paperwork for next year’s grant. The cycle never ends.

Many college accounting programs offer classes on grant funding. If this is one phase of the industry that’s of interest, take a class or two to get an idea of what the occupation is like. It’s an area of accounting often rewarded with above average salaries.